The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is not the only party responding anxiously to the series of declines in its numbers of minority applicants. Officials at other eastern graduate schools, and President, Bok himself, are also getting into the act.
The major plan of the GSAS involves the cooperation of Yale and Princeton graduate schools, both of which have tentatively agreed to form a centralized recruitment consortium with Harvard. If the consortium idea is approved at a meeting of the three schools in New Haven next week, it seems likely that this year's applicants will be the first to file a joint application, which would automatically be considered by all three schools.
Nina P. Hillgarth, the coordinator of the GSAS's new recruiting drive, said this week that she has other plans to up the number of minority applicants to the school.
Harvard, she said, along with five other prestigious eastern graduate schools, has created a system to exchange minority students who are potential candidates for graduate school.
But President Bok, who appealed to the graduate school last year to develop more effective recruiting methods, apparently found it necessary to take the issue under his own wing.
Bok said this week that a plan he conceived this summer would provide more fellowships for minority students in graduate schools, establish an inter-university recruitment system, and organizes summer programs at universities to expose students to graduate schools. The success of the plan depends on foundation support.
Bok, however, refused to say which universities or foundations he will contact, saying that the plan is only in its preliminary stages.
Bok and Peter S. McKinney administrative dean of the GSAS, have agreed that they can and will work together on the two plans.
So it seems as if officials of the GSAS, and now higher ups, once again are attempting to correct the problem of declining minority applicants, and that once again there is the problem of individuals.
One hitch to any plan is that department chairmen within grad schools ultimately admit whom they want. If the proposals are to work, McKinney says, everyone must fall into line and play an active role in recruitment.